Here I am again with another off-road side-by-side to test. It’s different than the EVs, commuter cars, and even supercars we normally review, which is kind of the point. Since I’m lucky enough to live in a fly-over state where open air and four-wheeling trails abound, I get to drive the 2021 Can-Am Commander Max XT for a couple of weeks.
So, what do you want to know about it?
I’ll give you a few technical specs as a baseline for my press loaner. It’s a four-seater UTV with a 976cc, 100-horsepower Rotax V-Twin that sends power to the rear or all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission. I’ve hardly driven it yet so I can’t tell you how that feels, but I can promise it’s a good deal faster than the John Deere Gator workhorse I wrote about a few months back.
Can-Am says the Commander Max XT is mainly geared toward hunting with a mix of trail and work capabilities, too. I’ve got figures that support the latter seeing as it’s rated to tow 2,000 pounds with a max payload of 1,280 pounds. The bed is rated to hold significantly less (600 pounds) but it’s plenty for the various coolers and funtime accessories it’s sized for. Plus, the bed dumps—albeit without electric or hydraulic assist—so that’s a plus for camping items like firewood and so on.
It’s got a winch up front that could theoretically pull the Commander up a tree; no promises on whether or not I can make that happen. It’s rated for 4,500 pounds, so it should be plenty for the off-roader with its curb weight that’s right around a ton.
Initial impressions are good, and it should be a blast with all that power and 28-inch XPS Trail King tires. One thing’s for sure—it’s long. Although it’s roughly six inches shorter overall than a four-door Jeep Wrangler, its wheelbase is actually a couple ticks longer at 120.6 inches. We’ll see how that does through tight corners and trees since I don’t have any sand whoops to run it on.
Enough from me for the moment; now it’s your turn. Drop your questions in the comment section and I’ll try to answer as many as I can!
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